My husband and I are both certified teachers, but it comes as a surprise to some people to learn that I’m homeschooling our four year old this year. What factors made this decision for us? This is why I’m homeschooling my child for pre-kindergarten … And it may not be what you think.

First, a bit of a downer: The big factor here is that we’re not eligible for any free program in our area, and we can’t afford paid pre-K. There are some wonderful programs in this area but they’re about $200/week, which is way out of our budget (unless we just don’t want to eat anymore). So that was the bottom line. Sorry to be anticlimactic!

However, there are a lot of other reasons why I’m glad we’re homeschooling.

Why I'm Homeschooling My Child for Pre-K - Real Simple Mama

My son is pretty mature for his age, and loves learning. He does hate the typical preschooler “song and dance”, though: he’d rather we talk to him like he’s a sixth grader. He shuts down with group songs and hand movements, but he’ll sit entranced for thirty minutes while we talk about the solar eclipse or deep ocean trenches! So by me catering his education to his style, he doesn’t have to compromise.

Following on my last point, if you’re homeschooling your child then it also means they don’t have to “share” their teacher with a classroom of other individuals. Sure I have a toddler to take care of too, but a 2:1 ratio is a hell of a lot easier to manage than 10:1! So I don’t have to compromise how I want to teach my son.

I have complete control over what my child learns, and how. (Insert maniacal laugh.) Seriously though! I’m not bound my a district’s lesson plans, or what a particular church teaches. Our main curriculum is through Kindergarten Complete (which I got off of Rainbow Resources online), but I supplement from all kinds of other places. I can even make my own worksheets or customize a lesson! If my son doesn’t get a concept (for example, recognizing numbers 20+ on sight) then I can make additional materials and cater to his weaknesses. And other things, like counting to 30+, he blows through. So I know we can be more in “review mode” for those concepts.

Honestly, how convenient is it to just roll out of bed and be ready for school? I am able to have our schedule and routine for homeschool however I want, because I’m the one dictating it! My son and I do our lessons while his toddler sister is napping, and we can continue our lesson with her once she wakes up. We personally keep mornings open for playgroup and errands, but I love that I can plan and adjust however I want.

Why I'm Homeschooling My Child for Pre-K - Real Simple Mama image kids craft write

Also, let me say that I know a lot of people like their kids going to preschool and pre-k for the “social aspect”: they like their kids to be around others, and learn community social skills like sharing and taking turns. I totally agree! But you don’t have to pay for a school program in order for your kids to get those skills. We are in a playgroup so my son sees the same friends (who are also close in age) every week; he’ll practice those social skills on a regular basis with families we know and love, but in a relaxed play setting.

Let me close by saying that public or private preschool and pre-k is great for lots of families, and part of me wishes that our son could have that group experience. It just isn’t an option for us. But please don’t think that I’m telling you that your child is ruined if they go to preschool or pre-k! I just like to give parents things to think about so that they can review all their options and make the best educated choice for their family.

I hope that you aren’t pressured to do anything for your child unless you feel in your heart that it’s in their best interest. You’re not going to ruin your kid if you don’t do what that Facebook sanctimommy or your neighbor (or your mother-in-law) say you should do.

While I’m a bit bummed that we couldn’t afford to do pre-k in the first place, I now am at peace with our situation. Our routine is working beautifully for us, and I have a feeling our kid will still be academically ahead of his classmates when he goes to kindergarten (without being that weird homeschooled kid).

Let me know your thoughts, experiences, and opinions! I love hearing from you and I appreciate you sharing this out! And I have a whole section of education ideas for you and your kids – check it out here.

Why I'm Homeschooling My Child for Pre-K - Real Simple Mama